What Caused the DC Crime Wave?

Source: Reason
by Joe Bishop-Henchman

“If your image of Washington was shaped by the urban decline of the 1970s, the crack trade of the 1980s, or the municipal bankruptcy of the 1990s, you might not realize that until recently the city has been generally prosperous, growing, and safe. Construction cranes dotted the city as population grew from 572,059 in 2000 to 689,545 in 2020. Neighborhoods that burned in the riots of the 1960s became places to be. Zip codes 20002 and 20003 recently topped the country for new apartment construction. D.C.’s budget went from basket case to record surpluses and rainy day funds, even enabling some income and business tax cuts. What caused this crime spike? Several narratives are competing, some more compelling than others. One year on, there is now strong evidence of two things that didn’t cause it — and two things that did.” (for publication 07/24)